Southampton bookies' favourites to sign Van Dijk - but Celtic stay isn't off the cards

The Saints are favourites, with Everton second in the running.

Southampton are favourites to sign Virgil van Dijk, according to Sky Bet, with Everton following closely behind in second.

However, bookmakers aren't ruling out a Celtic stay for the 24-year-old Dutchman, who could yet be tempted to stay with the Bhoys should they make the Champions League group stages.

Indeed, the Saints are 1/1 favourites with Sky Bet to tempt the defender to the Premier League, while Everton are 4/1.

The rest come in at prices of 6/1 or higher, with Van Dijk 7/2 to remain with Celtic.

That suggests a straightforward choice between joining Southampton and staying with Celtic is likely for the 24-year-old, with Everton in with a slightly lower chance of prising him to Goodison Park.

Both the Toffees and the South Coast side are in need of a new defender but neither club can offer Van Dijk Champions League football.

It will be interesting to see just how much the odds shift once Celtic get through their play-off against Malmo. Should they make the group stages, Parkhead will become a much likelier destination for the Dutchman, although anything less could see Southampton and Everton's odds shorten considerably.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch